Femmes Fatales Jul 10 2024
THAT OLD BLONDE MAGIC
You know the old saying. Once you go witch you'll never want to switch.


Since we mentioned the television show Bewitched recently, here's its star, the lovely Elizabeth Montgomery, bringing some supernatural qualities to a nightgown in this 1963 photo made to promote her comedy flick Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed? She was born into show business as the daughter of legendary actor and director Robert Montgomery, who boosted Elizabeth's fortunes by casting her in thirty episodes of Robert Montgomery Presents. Having launched her career in television, she worked mainly in that medium going forward but appeared in a few movies, notably in 1963's Johnny Cool. She accumulated credits on some sixty television shows, sang on three soundtracks, and even lent her voice to cartoon characters on The Flintstones and Batman: The Animated Series.

We've been enjoying Bewitched immensely. As a classic sitcom, it mixes a lot of zany problems into a suburban marriage, and enlivens the proceedings with a bit of low wattage sexiness. We think Darrin Stevens, as played so far by Dick York, is a terrible husband, but part of the fun is watching the twerp try to stop Montgomery from using her magical powers. It was a plot contrivance meant extol the virtues of earning what you obtain, but these days reads more like marital domination, mansplaining, and unsupportiveness. Whereas we'd be, “You wanna do what? Zap us over to Budapest for the weekend? Well, sure, honey, I suppose I could free up time for that.” Since Montgomery didn't make much in the way of pulp style entertainment she may not appear here again, but what an appearance. See another Montgomery here.

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Femmes Fatales Oct 16 2022
MURDER, SHE COMMITTED
The gun is mightier than the pen.


Above: a shot of British actress Angela Lansbury made when she filming 1956's Please Murder Me, in which she starred with Raymond Burr and Dick Foran. Lansbury's first movie was 1944's classic version of Gaslight. In total she had more than fifty cinema roles, but it was on television that she became a major star, beginning with 1950's Robert Montgomery Presents, and continuing through more than two-hundred and fifty episodes of her smash hit series Murder, She Wrote. Personally, if we had to choose a favorite Lansbury role it was as Granny in 1984's gothic horror movie The Company of Wolves. She gets eaten, but not before dispensing wisdom like, “The worst kind of wolves are hairy on the inside,” and, “Never trust a man whose eyebrows meet.” Well, you can generally trust Lansbury. She was an excellent actress and improved almost everything in which she appeared.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
July 19
1966—Sinatra Marries Farrow
Superstar singer and actor Frank Sinatra marries 21-year-old actress Mia Farrow, who is 30 years younger than him. The marriage lasts two years.
July 18
1925—Mein Kampf Published
While serving time in prison for his role in a failed coup, Adolf Hitler dictaes and publishes volume 1 of his manifesto Mein Kampf (in English My Struggle or My Battle), the book that outlines his theories of racial purity, his belief in a Jewish conspiracy to control the world, and his plans to lead Germany to militarily acquire more land at the expense of Russia via eastward expansion.
July 17
1955—Disneyland Begins Operations
The amusement park Disneyland opens in Orange County, California for 6,000 invitation-only guests, before opening to the general public the following day.
1959—Holiday Dies Broke
Legendary singer Billie Holiday, who possessed one of the most unique voices in the history of jazz, dies in the hospital of cirrhosis of the liver. She had lost her earnings to swindlers over the years, and upon her death her bank account contains seventy cents.
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